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The Improability And Preventions Of A Soviet Germany

1009 words - 5 pages

In the first quarter of the 20th century, Russia and Germany faced very similar conditions in the courses of their history: a lost international war, a domestic economic crisis, the fast spread of Marxist ideas and the decline of the old monarchy; however these conditions in Russia led to a Soviet country while in Germany it was a social democratic republic that slowly gave way to fascism. As Russia and Germany shared many cultural ties in the prewar era and the revolutionary propaganda quickly poured into postwar Germany from Soviet Russia, there are still a few things that set Germany apart from Russia and thus preventing the establishment of a potential Soviet republic in Germany, namely a strong and militant conservative presence, a different preexisting social structure under the monarchy, and the failure of radical communists to dominate its more moderate counterparts.
The strong and militant conservative tradition in Germany was both what saved it from Communism and what helped the rise of fascism: While Russia’s path to Communism through civil war was echoed later by China and Vietnam, Germany remained unique in its position, for both Falange and Iron Guard gained power through way of existing military dictatorship instead of a democratic procedure, and the British Fascist Union, also from a republic with an ancient monarchy, never realized much success in its attempts. In both cases, the conservatives in Germany figuratively and literally fought for what they wanted. It has been an easily observed pattern that whenever under economic stress, society polarizes towards both ends of the political spectrum—revolutionaries organize at the same speed reactionaries do. While in Russia the White Army was ideologically unfocused and weak, morally outmatched and physically outgunned by Red Army soldiers who were equally well-trained and experienced from WWI, the conservatives in Germany were much better equipped and more battle- hardened, and the revolutionaries in Germany lacked the same international support that Lenin got from the Germans to stir civil conflicts. One specific group of such conservatives was the Freikorps, a militia whose members were mostly veterans highly specialized in trench warfare, known as the Stormtroopers. The Freikorps directly took on the Marxist revolutionaries in urban guerrilla warfare in the Spartacus uprising of 1919, and effectively crushed the Soviet Republic of Bavaria in its early formation stage. Additionally, the many industrialists, cultural elites, former aristocrats, etc., were overwhelmingly conservative and were able to aid the struggle through their influences; after von Bismarck’s culture war, the unified German tradition was the Prussian tradition, extremely militant and straightforward in nature, spearheaded by the old Junkers who were now often military leaders with good reputation among the populace. Overall, the German conservatives were often as radical as the communists with higher morale and...

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